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National Ayurvedic Health Screening Project to be Launched for Tribal Students on Feb 21

The launch of the National Ayurvedic Health Screening Project for Tribal Students signifies a milestone in the journey towards equitable healthcare access for marginalized communities.

Shivam Dwivedi
National Ayurvedic Health Screening Project to be Launched for Tribal Students on Feb 21 (Representational Photo Source: Sarbananda Sonowal/X)
National Ayurvedic Health Screening Project to be Launched for Tribal Students on Feb 21 (Representational Photo Source: Sarbananda Sonowal/X)

A groundbreaking nationwide initiative aimed at enhancing the health and well-being of over 20,000 tribal students through Ayurvedic interventions is set to be launched in New Delhi. The initiative, spearheaded by Union Minister of Ayush and Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, along with Union Minister of Tribal Affairs and Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, Arjun Munda, will mark a significant step towards addressing healthcare disparities among tribal communities.

Collaborative Efforts for Tribal Health

This ambitious project, undertaken by the Ministry of Ayush's research council, CCRAS, in partnership with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and ICMR-NIRTH Jabalpur, aims to revolutionize healthcare delivery for tribal students. The collaborative effort signifies a strategic alliance between key government bodies to prioritize the health needs of underserved populations.

Targeted Health Screening and Management

The primary objective of the project is to conduct comprehensive health screenings for students enrolled in classes 6th to 12th across 55 selected Ekalavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) situated in 14 states nationwide. The screenings will focus on identifying prevalent health conditions such as Anaemia, Haemoglobinopathies, Malnutrition, and Tuberculosis among tribal students.

Incorporating Ayurvedic Principles for Holistic Well-being

Drawing upon the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, the project emphasizes the adoption of healthy lifestyle practices among students. With a holistic approach to healthcare, efforts will be made to integrate Ayurvedic principles into disease management strategies, promoting overall well-being among tribal communities.

Execution of the intervention will be facilitated by 16 peripheral units of the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Ministry of Ayush, in collaboration with ICMR-National Institute of Research in Tribal Health, Jabalpur, and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. This multi-agency approach underscores the concerted efforts of various government entities towards tribal health empowerment.

Building upon Collaborative Foundations

The inception of this project builds upon the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of Ayush and Ministry of Tribal Affairs in October 2022. This agreement aimed to explore avenues of collaboration and synergy for tribal development, resulting in initiatives like the establishment of 72 Poshan Vatikas in EMRS across 20 states and the participation of CCRAS Institutes in health camps during Janajati Mahotsav at Saraikela, Jharkhand.

Addressing Persistent Health Challenges

Despite commendable efforts, tribal health in India remains a pressing concern even after more than seven decades of independence. The tribal population, constituting 8.6% of the total population as per the 2011 census, predominantly resides in rural areas, facing numerous obstacles to accessing quality healthcare services.

Role of Ekalavya Model Residential Schools

Ekalavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) play a pivotal role in providing quality education and holistic development opportunities to Scheduled Tribes (ST) children in remote areas. With a focus on academic excellence, sports, and skill development, these schools aim to equip tribal students with the necessary tools to excel in diverse fields, including healthcare.

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